WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying & Selling -

1 BODY & STRUC­TURE

Slow or clunky op­er­a­tion from the fold­ing roof could in­di­cate costly prob­lems. Dif­fer­ent mod­els use dif­fer­ent types of fluid, so do your re­search. If you need rear seats, that rules out the first gen­er­a­tion cars, which are two-seaters only.

2 EN­GINES

Mod­i­fi­ca­tions are pop­u­lar, so re­search care­fully in ad­vance what orig­i­nal spec should look like. The ear­li­est cars had 292bhp Y-block V8s, in­creas­ing to 312bhp, fol­lowed by 340bhp McCul­loch su­per­charged units. By the time of the 1973 ‘Big Birds’ they had evolved into 7.5-litre big-block V8s, be­fore grad­ual down­siz­ing.

3 TRANS­MIS­SION

Var­i­ous man­ual and au­to­matic gear­boxes were avail­able, with op­tional over­drive. Re­place­ment or re­pair will be costly, so hag­gle ac­cord­ingly.

4 BRAKES

Check that early cars with drum brakes don’t pull to one side un­der brak­ing. They some­times have poorly ad­justed shoes due to a re­ver­sethreaded ad­juster on one side.

5 IN­TE­RIOR & ELECTRICS

You’ll need to make friends with over­seas sup­pli­ers as trim in the UK is scarce. The trim is part of the car’s char­ac­ter, so don’t ac­cept a tatty in­te­rior.

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